*Winner of the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize*
A darkly comic literary thriller about a woman who fears for her sanity—and then her life—when she learns that her doppelganger has appeared in a local park.
Jean Mason has a doppelganger. She's never seen her, but others swear they have. Apparently, her identical twin hangs out in Kensington Market, where she sometimes buys churros and drags an empty shopping cart down the streets, like she's looking for something to put in it. Jean's a grown woman with a husband and two kids, as well as a thriving bookstore in downtown Toronto, and she doesn't rattle easily—not like she used to. But after two customers insist they've seen her double, Jean decides to investigate.
She begins at the crossroads of Kensington Market: a city park called Bellevue Square. Although she sees no one who looks like her, it only takes a few visits to the park for her to become obsessed with the possibility of encountering her twin in the flesh. With the aid of a small army of locals who hang around in the park, she expands her surveillance, making it known she'll pay for information or sightings. A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers and vagrants—the regulars of Bellevue Square—are eager to contribute to Jean's investigation. But when some of them start disappearing, she fears her alleged double has a sinister agenda. Unless Jean stops her, she and everyone she cares about will face a fate much stranger than death.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
“My doppelganger problems began one afternoon in early April,” reads the first line of Bellevue Square—and from there, author Michael Redhill never eases up on the accelerator. Narrator Jean Mason lives a perfectly polite life in Toronto until a sinister lookalike surfaces and people start to disappear. Redhill, who’s written a quartet of crime novels under the pseudonym Inger Ash Wolfe, brings a finely honed grasp of psychological dread to this thriller’s hairpin turns. We got obsessed with the hunt for Jean’s double—and shared her creeping suspicion that nothing is as it appears.
A TRULLY CANADIAN TALE
MR REDHILL WITH INGENIOUS PERSPICACITY HAS WRITTEN YET ANOTHER CHAPTER IN THE PERENNIAL CANADIAN THEME OF IDENTITY AND SURVIVAL..WHO ARE WE AND WHAT AREWE DOING HERE ARE WISELY QUESTIONS LEFT ONLY PARTIALLY ANSWERED IN THIS ENGAGING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER.
Waste of time
Started good, kept my interest but at times repetitive. Later half was not clear and jumpy, and ending was rushed and confusing.
Lost my interest
Wanted to get into it and tried.